Nat King Cole Christmas
Sunday, December 10 @ 6:00 pm
Nat King Cole Christmas with Allan Harris
Within the walls of our intimate theatre, you’ll be sent back in time to the golden age of Jazz, where the likes of Nat King Cole reigned supreme. Harris’s impeccable phrasing and dynamic range bring new life to beloved classics like “Mona Lisa,” “Unforgettable,” and “The Christmas Song,” while his engaging storytelling and lively stage presence create a one-of-a-kind atmosphere.
Ever since he burst on the Jazz scene in the latter part of the twentieth century, the Brooklyn born and Harlem-based vocalist, guitarist, bandleader, and composer, Allan Harris has reigned supreme as the most accomplished and exceptional singer of his generation. Aptly described by the Miami Herald as an artist blessed with, “the warmth of Tony Bennett, the bite and rhythmic sense of Sinatra, and the sly elegance of Nat ‘King’ Cole,” the ample and aural evidence of Harris’ moving and magisterial artistry can be heard on his twelve recordings as a leader, his far-flung and critically-acclaimed concerts around the world, and his numerous awards which include the New York Nightlife Award for “Outstanding Jazz Vocalist” – which he won three times – the Backstage Bistro Award for “ Ongoing Achievement in Jazz,” the DownBeat Critic’s Poll Award for “Rising Star Jazz Vocalist,” the Hot House Jazz Magazine “Jazz Vocalist of the Year Award” for both 2015 and 2016, and the Harlem Speaks “Jazz Museum of Harlem Award.”
Harris’ mother, Johanna Chemina Ingram-Harris, was a concert pianist, and was a graduate of the first class of New York’s legendary High School for the Performing Arts. Growing up, Harris went to Apollo Sunday afternoon matinees, and he visited his aunt Kate Ingram’s famous soul food restaurant, Kate’s Home Cooking, located behind the Apollo Theater, featured on the cover of organist Jimmy Smith’s 1960 Blue Note LP, Home Cookin. In this soulful setting, Harris would meet many Jazz and R&B stars who worked at the Apollo and came by the restaurant to eat and hang out. Another aunt, Theodosia Ingram, won the Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night Competition and performed at several Manhattan clubs, including The Lenox Lounge under her stage name, “Phoebe.” It was through her, that Harris would meet and be mentored by a seminal jazz figure, Clarence Williams: a pioneering African American composer, sideman and manager of Louis Armstrong and businessman, who owned the Harlem Thrift Shop, and hired Phoebe when she was 20 years old.
Allan Harris has established himself as one of the Jazz world’s most acclaimed vocalists, possessing a potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance. He has mesmerized audiences all over the world. Mr. Harris has performed in more than 30 music festivals worldwide and in some of the world’s most famous venues including Blue Note NYC; Blue Note Beijing; Blue Note Milan; Bird’s Basement, Australia; Birdland, NY; Jazz at Lincoln Center, NY; Blues Alley, DC; San Francisco Jazz Center; London Jazz Festival; Monterey Jazz Festival; Umbria Jazz Festival; Jazz St. Louis; Acadamie du Jazz; Rochester Jazz Festival; London Olympics; Dnieper Jazz Festival; Scullers; Jazz Bakery; Joe’s Pub; Blues Alley; Duc des Lombards and many more.